Published at 30th of November 2020 09:25:15 PM
Normally, after dinner, Min-joon would go to the hotel in the evening to prepare the food truck journey for the next day, but he didn’t on that day .
He muttered in a tepid voice, tightening a luxurious blue tie around his neck, “When it comes to a party, I usually get nervous for no reason . ”
“It’s natural you get nervous . This is not a party for your friends . All kinds of people come to this party tonight,” Anderson replied, buttoning up his shirt .
Min-joon looked back at him and opened his mouth .
“You aren’t dating Janet, are you?”
“Nope! If I’m dating her, you might have noticed it already . It’s nothing to hide anyway . ”
“No, you have to hide it . I know you are a celibate . So, you might feel awkward if you say you are dating her . ”
“I’ve never thought of Janet as a woman, and maybe never . ”
“It sounds like you are so sure of that . ”
Anderson did not answer . It looked like he didn’t want to answer .
Min-joon tapped him on the shoulder and moved on .
“I’ll see you there . ”
“Okay . ”
As soon as he left the room, Min-joon immediately ran into another person . It was Raphael .
He was wearing a suit that looked pretty expensive, but he looked rather awkward in many ways, given the tie he put on and the wrinkled collar .
Raphael waved with a smile .
“Ah, Min-joon, you have come out early . ”
“Can I help you with adjusting your clothes?”
“Of course . Thank you . ”
Min-joon properly adjusted his tie and straightened Raphael’s collar .
Raphael muttered, touching his tie, “I don’t know what was that stupid guy that came up with suit and tie . Every time I wear it, I’m really frustrated . ”
“Good for you! Your job doesn’t require you to wear a suit . ”
“Man, I want a job with no formal shoes and tie, but it’s hard . ”
Min-joon chuckled at his grumbling .
Raphael sighed as if exhausted, “Today’s party will be pretty tough . ”
“Is there an easy party?”
“Today’s party is especially tough . ”
“I heard that a lot of famous people were coming to this party, but that’s what we often experienced at our main store . ”
“You can’t compare the people in Los Angeles with New Yorkers . Besides, people coming tonight are Chef June’s regulars . ”
“Chef June’s regulars?” Min-joon asked curiously .
Raphael nodded .
“June is a dangerous person, Min-joon . Well, I should say she is scary rather than dangerous . ”
“I felt it . I thought she was like a very well-sharpened knife . ”
“Well, if you think so, you haven’t yet felt almost nothing . ”
“What should I feel from her? Oh, let me ask this way . What do you want me to do?”
“Just stay alert,” Raphael replied in a calm voice .
Looking at his confused expression, Raphael looked around and whispered, “You have already seen June’s restaurant . Perfect dinner from start to finish . Luxurious interior that makes you feel like you’re out of touch with this world . Even if you want to find fault, you can’t . ”
“I don’t know why I should be wary of June for that . ”
“This is New York . It’s one of the cities with the most competitive restaurants in the world . But right here, June confidently proved her skills . She ran her branch so successfully that other Rose Island branches could not even compete with hers . In fact, when the Rose Island main restaurant was gone, there were quite a lot who called this place the main restaurant…”
“I understand . June’s dish was definitely perfect . Given she is perfect in cooking, she might be so in other areas . Yeah, I recognize she has succeeded . I respect her . ”
“Yeah, she is perfect in cooking and running the store . Besides, she perfectly grasps people’s reactions and manages her personal connections . But there’s only one person that threatens her perfectionism . ”
Min-joon looked at him curiously, but Raphael didn’t answer . His silence was the answer .
Reading his mind, Min-joon hardened his expression in an instant .
“Right,” Raphael opened his mouth finally, “You are the biggest threat to June . ”
It was cold . June looked into her face on the dressing table while wearing a coat over her dress . Even though her makeup would cover her fine lines, it couldn’t get rid of the dark wrinkles . She knew it . She was forty now .
She slowly lifted her finger and crossed the wrinkles over her face . Age made a person feel miserable as its number increases . When someone told her she was beautiful, June used to take it as a compliment without a doubt . However, she always found it hard to accept whenever people said she was beautiful . Did they say that out of courtesy? Or were they serious?”
“Teacher, I’m old, too . I don’t have much time now . ”
June was old enough to have more chefs who were younger than her . She took a coral pink lipstick and slowly painted her lips . She breathed fake life over her pale lips and made a fake smile . When she took off her coat, the room was still cool, but she didn’t feel cold .
‘It’s not far now . ’
Her eyes shone sharply . June left the dressing room and headed for the hotel’s banquet hall . What was the purpose of the party? Was it to celebrate Rachel’s return to New York? She already forgot about her purpose of hosting the party . When the door opened, June smiled, facing those looking at her .
“June! Looking at you outside the kitchen, I feel you are a different person . ”
“You, too, Congressman Marcus . How have you been?”
“You’ve been doing well . I was thinking of visiting Rose Island again sooner or later…”
“Please make a reservation anytime . Our table is open . Oh, excuse me for a moment . Jenin! Thanks for coming . I was afraid you might not come . ”
When June was busy greeting the party participants, the door opened, and a woman came in . Everyone held their breath for a moment then began to whisper after that momentary silence . So much so that even the woman who was chatting with June stopped talking and looked at her .
“Wow, Rachel is still great! She instantly gets the attention of people here . ”
“Because she is better than me . ”
With red wine in her mouth, she muttered in an inaudible voice .
Jenin was amazed when she heard what June said .
“Come to think of it, she is just gorgeous . June, you are the top chef in New York, but she is better than you . ”
“Thank you for praising me like that . I wouldn’t reject your compliment . ”
“I’m telling you the truth . By the way, have you thought about signing a contract with my hotel this time?”
“Well, as I told you last time, signing the contract is not beyond my power . I’m the branch manager, not the general manager of Rose Island . But I can send my sous chef to your hotel . Of course, he will be your head chef there on a fixed, not permanent, basis . ”
“What a pity! I think it’s time Chef Rachel delegates her authority to you, given your position in New York…”
When she said that, June smiled faintly . Then she approached Rachel and slowly hugged her .
“Thank you for coming, teacher . You have made this place shine . ”
“How can I not come here when you say you’re hosting a party for me? By the way, it looks like you invited lots of people . I know some, but I don’t know many people here . ”
“Well, you like this kind of party, Rachel . You just host a big party . I’ve learned it from you . Would you like me to introduce you?”
“No, I don’t want it . If I need to know them, I will come to know them anyway . ”
“Well, if you insist…”
It was the moment when June gave up and tried to step back when Jenin, who was chatting with June, approached Rachel with a gentle smile .
“June, can you introduce me to this legendary chef here?”
June couldn’t decline her request right in front of Rachel .
Swallowing a sigh, June said with a smile, “Of course . Rachel, this is Jenin . She is running a hotel in New York . Jenin, this is Rachel, my teacher . Is that enough?”
“Sure . I’ve been your fan since I was young, Ms . Rachel . ”
“Oh, dear! It’s the typical way they talk about me, but I am pleased to hear that anyway . ”
“I’ve always heard a lot about you from June . She said you can cook indescribably delicious dishes . I guess June’s dishes taste so delicious because she resembles you . ”
“In fact, I tried her food after a long time . It looks like her dishes resemble mine . ”
“Well, it’s not bad . Isn’t it weird if your successor strongly shows her own personality in her dishes too? I think it’s good to have some similarities in the dishes to some extent . ”
As if she didn’t care, Jenin casually looked at Rachel . At that moment, June grabbed the wine glass in her hand and glanced at Rachel .
Rachel responded leisurely, not even looking at June, “Well, if I choose a successor, I’m not going to look for my replica . I’m looking for the best chef . ”
“Oh, do you mean you have any plans to choose your successor?”
“Well, it’s useless to talk about my future plans here . ”
“No way, it is not meaningless . It’s especially meaningful to us who get by, looking forward to the future, not today . Rachel Rose’s successor . Isn’t it a remarkable topic for everyone in the world? Me and my friends bet a lot that June is going to be your successor . ”
“Well, you are free to bet on her, but…”
Rachel grabbed a glass of champagne from the waiter passing by and said in a deep voice, “I can’t guarantee that she is going to be my successor . ”
As soon as Rachel said that, June called her . She groaned deep down, watching Rachel casually turning to her . Although Rachel was old and feeble, Rachel was the same steel-hearted chef as before . She was not to be swayed by June’s moods at the moment .
June smiled at her . She wrapped her arm around Rachel’s and looked back at Jenin . Although she pretended not to, Jenin must have already sensed that June was not as much as trusted by Rachel as she thought . And it was okay that Jenin came to know it .
“Can I excuse you while you both are having a cozy conversation between teacher and student?” Jenin said .
“Well, I don’t like such a cozy atmosphere,” Rachel responded .
“Don’t worry, the atmosphere might look cozy, but it’s not in reality,” June said .
Jenin felt even scared at June’s sharp voice, though she pretended to be kind .
But Rachel didn’t feel embarrassed .
She then said with a smile, “Really? Well, I want to check it out myself . ”